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Government Should Support Community Activists Working to Protect Survivors

Gladys Koskey, 48, has always kept her home in Trans Mara, southwestern Kenya, open to friends and relatives. But in the past decade, her home has also become an important refuge for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence. Gladys leads a group of…
Gladys Koskey helps a nine-years-old rape survivor who lives in her home with her writing.
News

Effective Law Enforcement, Access to Shelter, Financial Support Are Critical

(Nairobi) – The Kenyan government’s response to gender-based violence during the Covid-19 pandemic has been too little, too late, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 61-page report, “‘I Had Nowhere to Go’: Violence against Women…
The back of a girl staring out a window
News

6 Years On, No Action on Truth, Justice, Reconciliation Report

(Nairobi) – The Kenyan National Assembly has blocked justice and reparations for victims of human rights violations by failing to consider the findings of a 2013 report by the country’s Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC), a…
Residents flee as anti-riot policemen pursue opposition protestors in Mathare, Nairobi, on August 12.
News

Killings, Disappearances, Recruitment of Children as Soldiers Go Unpunished

(Bogotá) – Armed groups have committed egregious abuses against Colombian and Venezuelan civilians as they fight for control in Catatumbo, northeastern Colombia, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The 64-page report, “…
201904AME_Columbia_Catatumbo
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Widespread Sexual Violence during Kenya’s 2017 Elections

    Judith Wavinya*, 30, was walking home on a cool August night in her neighborhood of Dandora in Nairobi, after spending the evening with her sister. She had to get back home to her three children and to prepare for the new day –…
Judith Wavinya (not her real name), 30, was attacked by two men on the night of August 11, 2017, as she was walking home. They asked if she knew them, threatened her with knives, and took her to an isolated place where they beat her badly and one of them
News

Prosecute Sexual Crimes; Address Victims’ Needs

  (Nairobi) – Widespread sexual violence marred Kenya’s 2017 elections, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The Kenyan government should urgently take steps to protect women and girls, as well as men and boys…
Judith Wavinya (not her real name), 30, was attacked by two men on the night of August 11, 2017, as she was walking home.
News
Although it is more than eight years since hundreds of women were brutally raped during post-election violence in Kenya, the harrowing events of 2007/8 continue to affect survivors to this day. Destitute, in ill health and often…
Nafula K.,46, was gang raped together with three other women by four men in January 2008 while at an IDP camp.
News

Provide Reparations, Justice for Post-Election Violence Victims

(Nairobi) – Hundreds of women and girls raped during Kenya’s 2007-2008 post-election violence struggle with devastating physical and psychological health conditions, poverty, and social exclusion, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The…
Fatma W. with her 7-year-old son born from rape.
News

Victim of Alleged Attack by AU Soldiers and Witnesses Harassed

(Nairobi) – Somali authorities should order a new, impartial, and transparent investigation into an alleged gang-rape by African Union (AU) soldiers. The case has been marred by mismanagement, opacity, and the harassment of the female rape survivor and…
News

Ensure Perpetrators Prosecuted, Health Services for Victims of Rape, Domestic Violence

(Washington, DC) – Colombia’s laws on violence against women are not adequately protecting victims displaced by the armed conflict, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. Approximately two million internally displaced women and girls face…
News

As Women Flee Violence in Rural Areas, Cities Offer No Safe Haven

I sat down with Mercedes on a sleepy afternoon in Medellin, Colombia. She was nervous. I was exhausted. Mercedes was my 60th interview with women and girls in Colombia – all of whom survived sexual or family violence, and all of whom had fled their close-…
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As told by Meghan Rhoad, women's rights researcher Nasra, a petite Somali woman wearing a navy blue hijab and long skirt, rocked her sleeping baby in her arms as she told me the story of how, two and a half weeks earlier, she had arrived here at Dadaab…
News

Government, UN, Donors Should Address Widespread Violence, Degrading Detention, Extortion, and Policing Failures

(Nairobi) - Kenyan police at the Somali border and in nearby refugee camps are abusing asylum seekers and refugees fleeing war-torn Somalia, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. Kenya should immediately rein in its abusive police, and the…
News

End Murder, Torture, and Rape of Civilians

The rebel Sabaot Land Defence Force and the Kenyan military are responsible for horrific abuses, including killings, torture and rape of civilians, in a little-known armed conflict in the Mt. Elgon area of western Kenya, Human Rights Watch said today in a…
News

Prosecutions Key to Ending Violence, Police Abuses

The new coalition government should bring to justice individuals responsible for recent and past episodes of political violence, Human Rights Watch said in a new report released today. The new coalition government can help stabilize the country by…
News

Positive Steps in Agreement on Election Review, Constitutional Reform

The political agreement in Kenya mediated by former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is a step forward, but Kenyan politicians must take immediate steps to ensure accountability for human rights violations if further negotiations are to build lasting…
News

Conference Must Promote Rights-Based Response to HIV Pandemic

(Toronto) – Ongoing rights abuses are undermining efforts to fight the HIV pandemic and threatening the few, hard-won successes, Human Rights Watch said today, a month before the XVI International AIDS Conference opens in Toronto. "Twenty-five years into…
News

Success in Fighting AIDS Hinges on Protecting Rights of Women and Girls

(New York, December 1, 2003) — Violence and discrimination against women and girls is fueling Africa’s AIDS crisis, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today on World AIDS Day. African governments must make gender equality a central part of…